Eighty third-grade students quietly filed into the multipurpose room at Westarea Elementary School this morning. Little did they know that one hour later they would all be returning to class as the proud owner of a brand-new bike!
When the announcement was made, the screeches and yells of excitement from students could be heard throughout the room.
"I was super excited and very surprised!" said Cameron Penix, one of the third graders in the audience. "It was truly amazing. I was about to fall out of my chair!"
Olde Fayetteville Insurance & Financial Services 'teamed up' with the Bikes for Kids Foundation, co-founded by Meadowlark Lemon, to make the giveaway possible.
Weeks prior, the third graders read a book titled "Think Big. Work Hard. Be Kind. No Excuses" and submitted a short essay. The book was written by the president of the Bikes for Kids Foundation, Robert Krumroy. The students were told that the writers of the five best essays would win a brand-new bicycle. However, today, everyone got a bike for their hard work in completing the essay.
"This is important," said Paige Ross from Olde Fayetteville Insurance & Financial Services. "This is truly a way we can give back to deserving students who have worked so hard on their essays. They were not given a bike. They earned it."
The national foundation helps provide bikes and helmets to Title I third graders as their first step in completing a three-year character-building program.
This is the second time Bikes for Kids has been a part of Cumberland County Schools. Fifty bikes were donated to third graders at W.T. Brown and T.C. Berrien Elementary Schools last December.